Thursday, June 24, 2010

Ode to Superwoman

Recently, I went to my first comic convention with my friend Jen and was dismayed, I warn you I know nothing about comics, that Superwoman (or maybe Super-girl) was blond. I actually found one action-figure that had black hair but it was pixie short. I was very disappointed. Every time something in my life goes wrong I ask "Why can't I be Superwoman?"

In my mind, Superwoman can do it all: have the career, the relationship, the family and somehow makes it all work. I guess she's my symbol of feminism, and a little sexier than Rosie the Riveter (admit it, Rosie's a little butch). She's fearless, she doesn't worry about how it's all going to work, she has a plan and a backup plan for everything and if it all falls to pieces she's creative enough to think of a new direction. This is the woman that I want to be.

There's a catch though. I have many women in my life that I look up to because they are brilliant and have had very successful careers. However, these women either lack a significant other or children or both. Therein lies my biggest fear: you can have one or the other but you cannot have both. The defiant bitch in me says "I can do anything I damn well want" and the skeptic agnostic in me says "give me proof". I have no proof, I only see one or the other.

On another note, I have decided to quit banging my head against a brick wall and go back to school, finish my undergrad and get a Masters in Social Work so I can actually land my dream job. This will take 2 1/2 years, which puts my Superwoman plans on hold yet again. And on the other front, let's just say it's been just me and the dog lately.

I should know better. Life never goes according to plan and I have had many examples of that in my life but I can't help but feel disappointed. I don't see any reason why I can't have it all - I just can't figure out how to get it. I know going back to school is a step in the right direction, but it also feels like three steps back. I was annoyed when I was 25 sitting in a class with eighteen and twenty year-olds, now I'm almost thirty.

So I guess I'm one of the faithless waiting for proof that it's is in fact possible to be Superwoman - with long black hair. I don't want to say that's it's easy for men, but it sure seems that the career thing is easier for them. Then again, they don't get maternity leave.

Someday I will have accomplished all of this, and when I do, I am going to go find a Superwoman action-figure with long black hair and put her in my big corner office.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Is This All There Is?

"That's Life, that's what the people say, you're riding high in April, shot down in May" One of my favorite Sinatra tunes - when it's April that is. Did you know I just turned 29 last month? And I am two classes away from having a degree in Political Science, which I have been putting off since 2007. I've had five jobs in the last 2 1/2 years.

When I was twenty I thought I would be Superwoman by now - career, married, kids. How naive. Is it just me or is this a completely impossible order? Yes, the mood at the moment is self-deprecating, bored, and despairing. Honestly, I feel pretty pissed off that I am starting over yet again. Have I angered the career gods? Is or are there a god(s)? Or is this just a constant flow of meaningless ups and downs?

I guess I've hit an existential crisis and I feel like kicking Sisyphus' ass. This is bullshit. This is not what I signed up for. I'm not asking to be Hilary Clinton or Emma Goldstein or Rosa Rosales. Just please, please throw me a damn bone. Or how about some stability? Long term, not short term. Dependable. Lasting. I don't know whether to cry or throw something.

Ugh, I should have listened to my parents.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Here I Go Again On My Own

Can you hear Whitesnake in your head now? Good. Yesterday I got fired or laid off, not really sure which. Needless to say I am again unemployed. I am pissed. However, I have learned some very valuable lessons:

1) If it's too good to be true, it probably is. (i.e. two raises in first four months)
2) CEO's that make hasty decisions are to be avoided, especially if they have a temper. They lack wisdom.
3) Co-workers that get demoted from CFO to your management level don't want you to succeed where they have failed - watch out.
4) Start-ups are iffy.
5) When you see a ton of money going out and nothing coming in, jump ship.
6) Constructive criticism is necessary for the growth of any office. The lack thereof is a huge problem and leads to inefficiency, arguments, and blame.
7) Upper management members being labeled "old school" in regards to email, being able to use their computers for business functions, and the need for a company website is bad news.

So, next time I interview for a position I am planning on grilling my interviewer on the company's training process, business concept, etc. In hindsight, I would never work for this company again and I feel much less upset about the whole situation than I was yesterday.

Luckily, I got a decent severance package so I am not in panic mode taking any job I can get no matter how little it pays. This is how you get trapped into a dead end - and broke to boot. Patience will be my motto as I try to get back into the non-profit sector. In the meantime, I have Netflix, a gym membership, and job alerts sent to my email address to avoid hours scouring the internet which can leave a job seeker feeling like they're getting no where.

I expected to be moping around my apartment in my bathrobe for at least three days in a very depressed state, but I feel pretty confident. I have it better than most and I'm not sleeping on the steps of the Bill Miller's BBQ across the street tonight. It's just frustrating to be in this position again, and so much sooner than I had anticipated. I'll keep you posted.